Eurovision 2017 Entry: FYR Macedonia — Jana Burčeska — Dance Alone

Let’s hope that, wherever she goes, the rhythm follows.

Country: FYR Macedonia
Song Title: “Dance Alone”
Artist: Jana Burčeska
Second Semi-Final: Position #4
Last year’s entry:Dona” — Kaliopi (DNQ – 11th Place, SF2)

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has the distinction of being a historically unsuccessful country at Eurovision, but not for lack of trying. In seventeen attempts, the Macedonians have notched nine DNQs, with the remaining eight performances netting an average Grand Final placement of 15th and a best finish of 12th. They’ve been particularly bad since 2008, with eight DNQs in the last nine years, including four in a row entering this year’s contest. Can Jana Burčeska help her floundering country get back to the Grand Final stage?

“Dance Alone” is a great song to sing in the car on road trips, as my listening statistics would prove. I’m having a very hard time imagining how this song will succeed visually on the Eurovision stage, though. This is a cool music video, but as Ben pointed out, that’s not the point of the contest. The entire purpose of this song is that the singer is isolated. In terms of staging, either you’re forced to put her onstage by herself — which based on some live footage I’m seeing, may not be the best idea1 — or your aesthetic ends up working at odds with the song’s message instead of amplifying it. Eurovision isn’t necessarily about making sense, and this song does have a catchy chorus and danceable beat for folks to latch onto. Making a statement on the day of the performance still matters, though, and I’m concerned the Macedonians may not be able to pull through in that context.

Looking at the rest of Thursday’s semi-final, the FYR has a few dance / club numbers that are similar enough to provide the potential for competition. San Marino, Serbia, and Israel are a little more uptempo, though, and Lithuania doesn’t have a real shot at qualifying through. That leaves Norway, which in my opinion is one of the best in this round. Their song is different enough, and the semi-final open enough, that there should be enough room for both songs to qualify. Jana Burčeska should also benefit from the performance order, which puts her close to the beginning, and serving as a dance break between the two more chill entries from Austria and Malta. All told, I’ll expect to see FYR Macedonia performing for a second time during Saturday’s Grand Final.

Eurovision Song Contest Second Semi-Final
May 11, 2017

AustriaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaDenmark • Estonia
FYR Macedonia • Hungary • IrelandIsraelLithuaniaMalta • Netherlands
NorwayRomaniaRussia • San Marino • Serbia • Switzerland

  1. I’m not positive she’s actually singing there? Or is she lip synching? I can’t tell for certain.  
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